Asmita Shrish (a wonderful Nepali filmmaker) and I have more or less finished editing a film we shot in Nepal this spring (2016). It follows an amazing woman, Nima Gyalmu Lama, as she sets about rebuilding her house, and to an extent her world, after the devastating earthquake , landslides and avalanche destroyed much of her community in April 2015. Sixteen members of her close family were killed, her house destroyed and the place she knew changed forever. However, along with the other survivors, she carries on, often with great humour, strength and dignity. It was humbling to be with her.
Walking through the valley was also a powerful experience. The lower reaches are warm, enclosed and green There are signs of the devastation, but it is not overwhelming. However once you emerge into the upper valley it is open, ravaged, bleak; the debris of destruction is everywhere. One village, the main settlement of the valley, simply does not exist anymore, it is a debris field.
Over 300 people lost their lives including around 100 visitors, mostly foreign trekkers. The rest were locals, porters, visiting labour and guides. The remaining people in the valley are now disparate for the tourists to return. Rebuilding in both a literal and a metaphoric sense is going on everywhere, one can only hope that business and good fortune will return to this place.
The film we shot, resulting in a short (18 minute) documentary will be released to festivals from this autumn. If you were one of the people I met in the valley, please do get in touch and I’ll give you access to a private version.
We (Ruth, the featured cellist) and I have been amazed at the response to Andante. Over 1 million views on facebook, and tens of thousands on other web sites. The comments on facebook have been wonderful and touching: “I don’t have an adequate vocabulary to describe how your journey and your playing made me feel” and ” I wept while I watched this. So moving for me and such a fantastic adventure. I am keeping this post forever.”
Ruth and I have been inspired by this to start talking about another project, a more ambitious journey with the cello.
Watch this space.
Classic FM have picked-up Andante and have distributed it through their website and facebook pages – I’m very pleased about this. This is the slightly longer version than the exclusive cut for Aeon.
Wow! I was contact by a friend who had been copied in to a facebook ‘share’ of Andante from a third party. It seems Andante is has exceeded half a million views on facebook (posted by Aeon), in addition to the views it had directly on Aeon’s site, my own and a few others.
I’m rather taken aback by this – and delighted – it is certainly a fair handful more than one might get through film festivals alone.
I’m thrilled that Aeon Magazine have selected Andante for publication on their site. If you haven’t come across Aeon do take a look, it offers a really interesting mix of essays and films on science, culture and ideas.
I am able to hire-out my HD video camera (a Canon C100 – an excellent piece of kit). My rates are competitive and you are dealing with an independent filmmaker rather than a big hire house.
See my camera hire pages for details.
I was really pleased to have been asked by Kent Wildlife Trust to design a short series of workshops to encourage people wholly new to film making to make a short piece about nature and green spaces in the town: a Lottery funded project which was part of Painting the Town Green initiative. So I designed the 3 session course and delivered the first run, further runs planned for the summer will be delivered by a Kent based filmmaker.
The emphasis of the workshops was on storytelling. We looked at some short nature films and had a discussion about what worked, how they were structured etc, and then set about mailing our own with the most simple of technology – compact cameras and free editing software. The plan was to inspire people enough to make their own films without the need for flash kit – ideally creating a team of video journalists and activists for the project. Needless to say a grand to total of 9 hours was quite limiting, and we had to work with the location, and weather, on the doorstep, but I think we were all pleased with the results. I wish KWT the very best with continuing the project.